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You'll struggle to find a bigger fan of Tom Marquand than myself, but even yesterday I can say he got the tactics completely wrong on Vino Victrix. The horse was travelling the best turning for home, and he waited and waited to try and find the perfect gap, by that point the eventual winner hit top gear and was tough to peg back. Tipped up at 7/1 and went off 3/1 so it would've been a nice winner, but it wasn't meant to be.
ROSSCARBERY was a winning tip for us two starts ago when beating Yaxeni by a neck at Cork in a Group 3 Fillies' race. That was a good effort, and it suggested a step up in trip could bring out further improvement as she powered to the line over 12f, so this new trip of 14f looks ideal.
She ran an absolute stormer to finish 3rd in the Pretty Polly Stakes Group 1 at The Curragh a week or so ago but was eventually disqualified as Wayne Lordan weighed in 5lb lighter than needed. Even though she comes away without the prize money and the 3rd to her name, that was a huge run to finish in that position, as she clearly ran better than what people expected as she went off at odds of 20/1.
This race is a lot easier on paper than her recent start, other than the potential big improver from the Aidan O'Brien stable, Lily Pond. That horse deserves the utmost respect as she is a 3yo and gets a lot of weight-for-age allowances, plus she has a quality pedigree which is to be expected from the Coolmore outfit. It's interesting to see Hugo Palmer sending over Quenelle D'Or and James Tate sending over Garden Paradise as it's not often you see the English trainers sending over their horses. Roger Varian also has a runner, but it would be a big shock if his filly was to get close in this.
I tipped up LITTLE BIG BEAR at Royal Ascot, who was well-supported when winning the Windsor Castle Stakes. He was arguably Ballydoyle's strongest chance of the week, and he duly obliged, winning on the line by a neck.
The form of the Royal Ascot race looks strong with the runner-up, Rockey Rodney (also tipped up on the weekend just gone), won with plenty in hand in a Class 1 Listed race at Sandown. Also, I think Little Big Bear was much better than his winning margins would suggest. He was on the other side of the track from where the action unfolded and had to do a lot of the donkey work in the final couple of furlongs until Ryan Moore opted to make him drift to fight the opposition where he pulled out a little bit more. Ryan Moore said he's still unfurnished and has plenty more to give and that wasn't close to the best version of this horse.
Based on that run at Royal Ascot, the extra furlong looks suited as he was powering through the line over a stiff 5f, so is definitely worth a chance over 6f.
MASEKELA will be a horse which a lot of punters will be latching onto on the back of his Derby run where he finished fourth. At first, I didn't really rate the form of the Derby as I thought the winner won easily and didn't exactly beat much, but I was proven wrong by Westover who went on to win the Irish Derby and won it with ease.
I wasn't sure that this kind of trip would be what this horse needed on the back of his juvenile season as he looked a non-stayer over a mile! However, he proved me wrong again when looking in need of longer trip than the 12f which the Derby is run over, as he was staying on well down the Epsom hill.
This track seems to be fine for him, which isn't always the case for horses who try Newmarket as it is quite undulating, but he must like these kind of tracks as he handled Epsom which is a quirky track. He ran well to finish second behind Native Trail in a Group 2 over 7f at the July track, and that has proven to be rock-solid form, with that horse being the Champion Juvenile of last year, and being a Group 1 winner this season, with a recent second in the Coral-Eclipse.
I'm going to be taking a small chance on WITCH HUNTER who I recently tipped up at Windsor where he ran no race whatsoever and it was a big shock for me as on the form figures he should've won that race win plenty in hand.
However, considering the fact he is turning up in this race where the winner gets £51,540, which makes me think the run at Windsor was a prep run for this, as that was his first run on the back of a 100+ day break. With that run under his belt, he should strip much fitter and can run a big race, especially when you consider the form he has behind El Caballo now looks very strong.
I am very surprised to see MIGHTY ULYSSES at the prices he is priced at, which is just above EVS. I thought he would be much shorter based on his Royal Ascot run where he finished fifth in a very good Group 1, which I am confident will produce winners.
There's been a lot of hype around this horse since his run on seasonal reappearance at Epsom where Frankie Dettori gave him a weak ride where he pretty much gave up even though the horse was cantering in behind. He's since gone on to win a novice race and finish second in a Class 2 Haydock race, which produced an RPR of 118, with the form of that handicap looking strong with Outgate back in third winning raced since, and the winner (Whoputfiftyinyou) running well at Royal Ascot.
As I eluded to at the start, he ran a scorcher to finish fifth in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, losing by 0.75L, behind some nice types including the 2000 Guineas winner, Coroebus, and German 2000 Guineas winner Maljoom who looks a Group 1 winner in waiting, as do a few of those who finished close in behind.
Today's race is a drop-in class, and he might be able to win this before going on to bigger and better races.